Britain signs free trade deal with Singapore

Britain signed a free trade deal with Singapore on Thursday, the latest in a series of agreements Britain is trying to broker around the globe as it prepares to end its transition out of the European Union on Dec. 31.

Britain’s secretary of state of international trade Liz Truss and Singapore’s trade minister Chan Chun Sing signed the deal at a ceremony in the Southeast Asian city-state.

The Singapore deal comes as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the European Union’s chief executive gave themselves until the end of the weekend to seal a new trade pact after failing to overcome persistent rifts.

Britain formally left the European Union at the end of January and has spent the year negotiating its future relationship with Brussels and striking trade agreements with major economies such as Japan and Canada.

The deal with Singapore largely mirrors a standing agreement the Southeast Asian nation has with the European Union. But it is an important deal for Singapore, which counts Britain among its top trading partners for goods and services globally and its top investment destination in Europe.


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